There are many aspects of baseball that are different than the other big four sports in America. One of these different aspects happens to be the draft. The NHL, NBA, and NFL drafts all take place at the end of the season and often the top picks in the draft have an immediate impact on their team in their first year. In baseball, the draft happens in the middle of the season and players need multiple years in the minor leagues before they can make an impact on their team. For teams like the New York Mets, getting prospects through the draft is vital to building a more successful farm system. The nearby Yankees have the ability to go out and trade for players like Giancarlo Stanton because of their surplus of above-average prospects, and sign players like Aroldis Chapman and CC Sabathia due to the money they are willing to spend. The Mets have never had the prospects or money to end up with great players, so on the rare chance they have to get a great player, they need to take advantage.
The Mets haven’t gotten a pick this high since 2004 when they selected Philip Humber third overall. In recent years the Mets have had some great first round draft picks such as Brandon Nimmo (2011), Michael Fulmer (2011), and Michael Conforto (2014) with other less successful ones such as such as Kevin Plawecki (2012) and Gavin Cecchini (2012) also seeing time at the major-league level. Even some of the recent picks such as Justin Dunn (2016), Anthony Kay (2016), and David Peterson (2017) are looking like they will develop into great players.
The 2017 season for the New York Mets was one to forget. Countless injuries, puzzling management decisions, and more led the Mets to the sixth worst record in baseball, which could be just what their depleted farm system needs. The Mets seem to have many needs right now especially at third base and in the outfield.
Right now the Mets are set at these positions, but in the future the positions are a lot more cloudy. In the outfield, Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce both come off long term deals within the next three years which would open up a gap at a position where the Mets have almost no depth. Unfortunately there aren’t many amazing outfielders in this year’s draft, but there are two very good third basemen.
This offseason the Mets signed Todd Frazier to a two year deal which will end at the conclusion of the 2019 season. David Wright, the Mets other third baseman will almost surely have retired by then. If the Mets choose not to bring back the aging Frazier there will be a big hole to fill on the left side of the diamond, which could be filled by either of these two players;
Alec Bohm is a third baseball from Wichita State who is known for his impressive hitting ability. After committing to play for the Shockers in 2015, Bohm hit .303/.346/.489 as a freshman in 2016. Typically .300 hitters have an OBP of about .400 which is why some scouts were worried about Bohm’s abilities to get walks, but in 2017 he proved them wrong by hitting .305 with a .385 OBP. Then in the summer of 2017 Bohm took his talents to the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and wreaked havoc on opposing pitchers, with a line of .351/.399/.513. In his junior year, Bohm is hitting .339/.436/.625 with 16 homers, 39 walks, and only 28 strikeouts in 224 at-bats. Bohm firmly cemented himself in the first round with his performance on Cape Cod and solidified himself further as a top 10 pick with his start to this season for the Shockers.
Jonathan India is a third baseman from the University of Florida and one of the biggest reasons for them being the No. 1 team in the country heading into the NCAA Tournament. India is one of three Gators who are projected to go inside the top ten of this year’s draft, with pitchers Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar as the other two star Gators. India has actually been drafted before, in the 26th round in 2015 but he decided to head to Florida to play in college. India started right away and he started hot. In his first year he hit .330/.367/.440 with 13 steals in 234 at-bats. In his hitting declined significantly as he only hit .274/.354/.429 with 13 steals in 212 at-bats. Players can have a hard time adjusting from metal to wooden bats, but India only did slightly worse, hitting .290/.405/.403 in ‘16 and .273/.390/.394 in ‘17. People projected India as a late 2nd round pick coming into the start of this year until he went on an absolute tear this year.. He is currently hitting .364/.504/.733 with 18 homers, 12 steals in 14 attempts, 49 walks and 48 strikeouts in 195 at-bats so far with well above average defense at third base. India has had one of the biggest jumps of any prospect headed into the draft, possibly throwing himself into contention within the top 5.
The possibilities of who will be available all depend on how the first five picks go, but at least one of them should be available once the Amazin’s are put on the clock.